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The potential use of <sup>241</sup>Am as proliferation resistant burnable poison in PWRs

Ronen, Y and Golyand, L and Shwageraus, E (2010) The potential use of <sup>241</sup>Am as proliferation resistant burnable poison in PWRs. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 37. pp. 201-207. ISSN 0306-4549

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This paper discusses the use of 241 Am as proliferation resistant burnable poison for light water reactors. Homogeneous addition of small (as little as 0.12%) amounts of 241 Am to the conventional light water reactor fuel results in significant increase in 238 Pu/Pu ratio in the discharged fuel improving its proliferation resistance. Moreover, 241 Am, admixed to the fuel, acts as burnable absorber allowing for substantial reduction in conventional reactivity control means without a notable fuel cycle length penalty. This is possible due to favorable characteristics of 241 Am transmutation chain. The fuel cycle length penalty of introducing 241 Am into the core is evaluated and discussed, as well as the impact of He production in the fuel pins and degradation of reactivity feedback coefficients. Proliferation resistance and reactivity control features related to the use of 241 Am are compared to those of using 237 Np, which has also been suggested as an additive to the conventional fuel in order to improve its proliferation resistance. It was found that 241 Am admixture is more favorable than 237 Np admixture because of the smaller fuel cycle length penalty and higher burnable poison savings. Addition of either 237 Np or 241 Am would provide substantial but not ultimate protection from misuse of Pu originating in the spent fuel from the commercial power reactors. Therefore, the benefits from application of the concept would have to be carefully evaluated against the additional costs and proliferation risks associated with manufacturing of 237 Np or 241 Am doped fuel. Although this work concerns specifically with PWRs, the conclusions could also be applied to BWRs and, to some extent, to other thermal spectrum reactor types. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div A > Energy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:15
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2018 02:35